First, can you give us some background about yourself?
- I've always wanted to be a writer. I wrote a full length book which was really an Enid Blyton knockoff at about 8 or 9 years old. It wasn't until I became a school librarian though that I had the time to write a novel. I had a ready supply of children to see if the book would appeal and it was really useful to see what they liked (or didn't like).
What have you written?
- Coming out in the next few months: Space Puzzles: Minkie Monster and The Birthday Surprise, Under the Sea Puzzles: Minkie Monster and the Lost Treasure. Already published: Children of the Elementi, A Simpler Guide to Gmail, A Simpler Guide to Google Drive, A Simpler Guide to Calibre, A Simpler Guide to Finding Free eBooks, Email Management using Gmail A Simpler Guide to Online Security and four disguised password books.
Are you currently working on anything?
- 3 Minkie Monster books aimed at 3-5 year olds (2 are finished), Accidental Immortal, a sci-fi/fantasy novel and A Simpler Guide to Google Sheets.
How much research do you do for your writing?
- For my Simpler Guides I test the software, watch YouTube tutorials and look at other books. For my fantasy, I sometimes have to ask people or do my research on the Internet. For my puzzle books, I test them on my son and cousins. I am "forced" to watch a lot of children's tv and read a lot of children's books. :)
What is your process like in the midst of writing a book?
- I am most definitely a sprinter. I love NaNoWriMo. This is where I write the majority of my novels and then I spend years editing. Just going over and over the book before I put it away for a couple of months and then go over it again!
What does your routine look like when you get to the editing process?
- I dislike editing but when I get into it, I do strangely enjoy it. I have friends who use spreadsheets but I just keep notes and plod through it, a paragraph at a time.
Do you have any quirks or rituals that help you achieve your writing goals?
- The only thing I can think of regarding quirks is that I do NaNoWriMo every year. I use my phone a lot of the time during that month so I can write while waiting to pick my son up from school or when I'm at the bus stop. It helps me get my 50,000 words done!
Tell us about your work space.
- Very cramped! I'm actually partially sighted so I have a 27" screen for design work and I have to have my type really large on screens. I'm sandwiched between the sofa and toy boxes in the living room.
Are there any software or apps that help you in your writing process?
- I love Microsoft Word. This is because I can use web view and have the text at 330% which is perfect for me.
What do you do when you lose focus? Any tips for getting it back?
- When I lose focus, I put the project down and start something else. This year I published four password books while I was prevaricating. I have nearly finished Accidental Immortal which I went back to after they were done.
Tell us about your publishing process.
- I am self-published but I am part of Myrddin Publishing which is an author cooperative. We give each other support and advice when it is needed.
- Where can people find you and your work?